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Uterine Fibroids - Karen Wheeler

Stow resident Karen Wheeler’s life changed for the better.

“I was in a lot of pain – back pain and a pulling-type pain in the abdomen,” said Karen.After she began experiencing heavy menstrual bleeding along with the pain, Karen made an appointment with her gynecologist.

After her gynecologist performed a sonogram, the source of her pain and bleeding was diagnosed – Karen had uterine fibroids. “I didn’t want to wait until menopause and hope they would go away and I didn’t want invasive surgery,” said Karen. After discussing her treatment options with her gynecologist, she decided to investigate an option which closely matched her needs. She was referred to Summa Health System interventional radiologist, Dr. Jeffrey Weil, who assessed her condition and recommended a minimally invasive treatment option called uterine fibroid embolization.

In this procedure, the interventional radiologist makes a small incision in the skin (less than ¼ of an inch) and inserts a catheter into an artery. The catheter is guided through the artery to the uterus while the radiologist watches the progress of the procedure using an intermittent X-ray (fluoroscopy). The radiologist then uses a procedure that cuts off the blood flow and causes the benign tumor (or tumors) to shrink and stop bleeding.

“Dr. Weil took the time to get to know me, my history and learn who I was as a person first,” said Karen. “He listened to my questions and presented me with options…I never felt rushed or unsure at any stage. He spent over an hour with me, explaining everything I needed to know, everything that could and would happen to me,” she added.

“I was fully awake the entire time and had the opportunity to ask questions during the surgery,” said Karen. After an overnight stay at Summa Akron City Hospital, she was home and enjoying a better quality of life. “I had the procedure on Tuesday and was back at my job the following Monday,” said Karen. With her health and confidence back, she returned to walking three times a week and lifting weights at the gym within a short period of time.“I was treated so well by everyone and can’t say enough about my medical team,” she said.

As for the next chapter in her life, Karen who was married in October of last year, looks forward to traveling and even catching some baseball games with her husband. “I’m glad to have Summa Health System and their compassionate physician’s right in my neighborhood,” she added.

To find out more about uterine fibroid embolization, we recommend you discuss the procedure with your gynecologist. You can schedule a consultation with a Summa Health System gynecologist or request a list of Summa Health System interventional radiologists by calling (330) 379-5111.